Time to Put Your Advertising on a Diet
by Shane O’Neill, Vice President
I hate fat ads. That’s right, I said it. Maybe it’s just me, but I hate them. You see them everywhere and they just take up space. Heck, I rarely even notice them… they all look the same. Could you fit any more junk into that space? I’m pretty sure your fonts are going to pop right out of the frame! I feel like you’ve revealed just a bit too much, but I don’t know. I couldn’t stare that long. And look at the size of that logo…we know it’s there, but you don’t need to smack me in the face with it. Geez, that’s two seconds of my life I’ll never get back.
Oh, but I’m a sucker for a sexy ad. You know the kind; simple, direct, but not overstated. You had me at the headline, but I know there’s more. So, if you don’t mind, I’d like to come over and shop awhile…and get to know you a little better. Oh sure there are other ads out there, but I fell in love with your brand and now I can’t get you out of my mind.
Two seconds. Two seconds is about how much time you have to get a reader to stop, take note, and remember. Two seconds before the page is turned before the eyes look away from the billboard or print ad. Two seconds. So, what do you do? You grab the audience with your best asset, the message. Simple and direct. The essence of what you want to communicate. Spark their interest and leave them wanting more. Name and phone number and you’re out. Although, nowadays who uses phone numbers? Whatever.com is so much more informative and you know what else? It’s so much easier to remember than a phone number, especially in two seconds. That’s smart advertising.
Now, there are really two different types of ads; branding and promotional. But the same principle applies; stop, take note, and remember. Yet, sometimes it’s easier said than done. For example; a full-page ad is a completely different monster than, say, a quarter page. Look at it this way; you have four quarter-page ads sitting on one full page of space and two seconds to pick one. Which one do you pick? The one that stands out from the pack…the sexy one.
Bottom line? No one is going to remember your ad if you have all your junk hanging out. People care about who and where (brand and web address). And by the way… if you don’t have a great website, get one. I mean, you can show up to the party dressed to the nines or come wearing sweatpants… but I digress. Sure there are some who will say, “But what if someone is interested and they want the street address or store hours or…” Really? (Cough…website.) Who’s the one in a million customer that can’t EASILY find that stuff out, and why would you cater to that rare exception? If you spend that much time thinking about the lowest common denominator, well…you’ll end up with a big fat ad.
There’s a new sign on my door: No Fat Ads Allowed!